LGBT Activist Groups Up in Arms Over Gorsuch SCOTUS Nom

Wednesday February 1, 2017

LGBT activist and advocacy groups (with the exception of gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans) are waving red flags over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.

Lambda Legal, the National Council for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are blasting Gorsuch as being the most conservative and least likely to be concerned about LGBT rights.

"We absolutely must not confirm a Supreme Court nominee who has ruled that the religious beliefs of employers can trump the law," said Lambda Chief Executive Officer Rachel Tivlen. "It is a short hop from birth control restrictions to restrictions on the intimate relationships and health care needs of LGBT people."

Tivlin continued: "Through his decisions, Judge Gorsuch has promoted a vision of a society where some religions prevail over others, and are invited to flout the law. Judge Gorsuch's judicial record is hostile toward LGBT people and his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is unacceptable-we oppose."

Shannon Minter of NCLR also waved a red flag concerning Gorsuch's history on "religious liberty."

"Gorsuch has embraced extreme positions far outside the mainstream of most jurists, including a dangerously radical view of religious liberty that would undermine anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and others pose a real threat to our nation's core principles of equality and freedom for all."

"Never in the history of our movement have we had more at stake as a community, or as a country," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "Since the moment he stepped foot in the Oval Office, President Trump has attacked equality. He has signed executive orders that undermine our country's most cherished values and appointed anti-LGBTQ cabinet nominees who have spent their careers undermining civil rights.

"And now, he has nominated Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, fulfilling his campaign promise to nominate a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, one of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ justices to ever sit on the court who once went so far as to compare gay people to murderers," Griffin added.

Jason Wu of GLAD expressed similar concerns.

"Judge Gorsuch has expressed skepticism about the judiciary's role in defining and protecting constitutional liberties and freedoms that are central to LGBTQ lives, in ways that could undermine established Constitutional protections such as marriage equality and access to reproductive health care," Wu said. "He has wrongly and anemically interpreted the Constitution to make it harder for individuals to seek equal protection under the law. And he has expressed hostility to progressive movements' use of the judicial process to safeguard constitutional liberties and protections for all."

Unsurprisingly, citing only marriage rights while ignoring transgender health concerns, Gregory T. Angelo, president of gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans, had a wait-and-see approach to the Gorsuch nomination.

"Marriage equality is here to stay, and the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch - or any conservative justice - will not change that," Angelo said. "Log Cabin Republicans continues to review the case history of Judge Gorsuch and welcomes confirmation hearings in the United States Senate to explore his perspective on the relevant issues facing LGBT Americans today."